If the letter writer is correct then the vast majority of Scottish Nationalists are guilty of "racist bile" towards anyone categorising themselves as British, surely?
However, I personally wouldn't characterise this type of discourse in such a ludicrous and incendiary manner, but if the Scotsman's correspondent feels vindicated by the lack of a (published) response, then he is unfortunately likely to feel even more encouraged by the subsequent diplomatic spat between Iain Gray and the state of Montenegro, which has taken issue with the MSP's remarks.
At FMQs Mr Gray said the SNP's website claimed: "Montenegro shows us just how easy it can be to become an independent country."
But he then said it took "40 days, two world wars, the Balkan conflict, ethnic cleansing, a war crimes tribunal and a UN peacekeeping mission".
In a letter to the Scottish Labour leader, Marijana Zivkovic, chargé d'affaires at the Montenegro embassy in London, expressed her "deep regret" over Mr Gray's claims, and said: "Your statement that Montenegro was involved in 'ethnic cleansing', including your references to 'a war crimes tribunal and a UN peacekeeping mission' is simply incorrect."
In fact he didn't claim that Montenegro was involved in ethnic cleansing etc at all, and was quite obviously (with hindsight, at least!) talking about the wider context of the Balkan conflict.
Of course, there's no doubting that Mr Gray's remarks were undiplomatic and a tad cack-handed, but unfortunately that's the consequence of operating in an environment of soundbites, which was begat by the SNP's equally crude characterisation of events. In turn, the Montenegrin diplomat's response was eminently predictable, irrespective of the facts of the matter and what Iain Gray actually said.
And while there's little point in delving into the minutiae of Montenegrin history here, what's this in a UN General Assembly document, for example?:
Gravely concerned about the deterioration of the situation in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina owing to intensified aggressive acts by the Serbian and Montenegrin forces to acquire more territories by force, characterized by a consistent pattern of gross and systematic violations of human rights, a burgeoning refugee population resulting from mass expulsions of defenceless civilians from their homes and the existence in Serbian and Montenegrin controlled areas of concentration camps and detention centres, in pursuit of the abhorrent policy of "ethnic cleansing", which is a form of genocide.The bottom line is perhaps that none of the protagonists in all of this should be wholly believed, but the most ridiculous aspect to all of the above is the Scotsman correspondent's characterisation of Iain Gray's FMQs remarks as "ridiculing" and "racist", and that was even before the essential content of what he said was questioned; it was clearly criticism of other countries per se that was considered beyond the pale.
Strongly condemning Serbia and Montenegro and their surrogates in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina for their continued non-compliance with all relevant United Nations resolutions.
Unfortunately if the SNP wants to cite other small nations in support of its quest for independence then if the facts don't quite live up to the soundbites and sloganeering then the truth should be told. Surely we can't accept the likes of the "arc of prosperity" claim at face value and allow any dissent from this to be characterised as "racist bile"?
It might be slightly reassuring to suggest that we've only got another four months of this kind of thing before May's Holyrood elections, but in truth nonsense of this ilk will only be exacerbated in the coming weeks; Holyrood's short history demonstrates that the chances of any long-term elevation of Scottish political discourse from its current dismal level are remote indeed.